A man from Florida has been convicted of first-degree murder in a case involving the death of his wife, a dispute that originated from disagreements over home renovations in their high-end Orlando home. The man, David Tronnes, was found guilty of killing his wife, Shanti Cooper-Tronnes, after a six-day trial where the jury deliberated for nearly five hours. The conviction was announced by the Office of the State Attorney of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
The unfortunate event took place on April 24, 2018, when Cooper-Tronnes was found dead in their Delaney Park residence. Tronnes initially reported that he discovered his wife in the bathtub after a day of house cleaning and dog walking, suggesting she had slipped and fallen. However, an autopsy report contradicted his story, revealing that the 39-year-old woman had been strangled and suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, leading to the conclusion that her death was a homicide.
Orlando police noted discrepancies in Tronnes’ account and his apparent lack of remorse during questioning. A detective highlighted, “Not one tear came out of your eyes — not one. You have fake cried over this woman’s death since we made contact with you. There is not a lick of remorse for what you did to this woman.”
Tronnes was arrested by the Orlando Police Department more than four months after his wife’s death as they began to unravel the grim details. The dispute that led to this tragedy was rooted in substantial investments in home renovations and a potential opportunity to appear in a reality TV show, “Zombie House Renovations.” Prosecutors suggested that when Cooper-Tronnes declined to participate in the show, her husband’s frustration grew, ultimately resulting in the horrific act.
In 2021, Tronnes’ defense claimed that he was unfit to stand trial due to ongoing symptoms of schizophrenia. This led to a judge ruling him incompetent and sending him to a state hospital. However, less than two years later, the hospital filed paperwork stating that he was competent to stand trial once again.
The case concluded after a series of legal proceedings, including Tronnes firing his attorney, Richard Zaleski, due to a “serious conflict of interest.” The conviction has brought an end to this distressing chapter, with Tronnes immediately sentenced to life in prison within the Florida Department of Corrections.